Sea Prayer

Published by: Riverhead Books
Release Date: September 18, 2018
ISBN13: 9780525539094
Buy the Book: AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionIndieBoundiBooksAlso available in the UK

The #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed responds to the heartbreak of the current refugee crisis with this deeply moving, beautifully illustrated short work of fiction for people of all ages, all over the world.

A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city's swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.

Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi's, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read writers in the world, with more than fifty-five million copies of his novels sold worldwide in more than seventy countries. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.


“A poignant letter written by a fearful Syrian father to his son…It is impossible to read without feeling intense compassion for those—and there are thousands—whose lives resemble those of the characters in the book. Powerful.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Hosseini’s story, aimed at readers of all ages, does not dwell on nightmarish fates; instead, its emotional power flows from the love of a father for his son…..Evocative illustrations and graceful, compelling prose.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review'

“This is a slim book, but one that readers young and old won’t soon forget.”

Time Magazine

“Slim, but essential. . . In its elevation of the pastoral and critique of a dark reality through the interplay of word and image, Sea Prayer calls to mind William Blake’s humanitarian ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience.’ The text’s minimalism complements London illustrator Dan Williams’ gorgeous watercolor and ink illustrations.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“‘Sea Prayer’ will take your breath away with its simplicity and grace . . . I started digging into this short masterpiece. The world stopped . . . I carried it around for a month, reading it everywhere.”
The Florida Times-Union

“The book may be brief, but it is beautiful, poetic – a distillation of his strengths … It combines Hosseini’s multiple personae, as a wordsmith, as a father and even as a doctor.”
The Sunday Times Magazine

“Dan Williams’s watercolours are a haunting companion to the contemplative and poetic story of a father fleeing Syria with his son. Though considerably shorter than The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns or And the Mountains Echoed, it opens up as many powerful emotions about family, survival and childhood.”
The Guardian

“Khaled Hosseini’s newest book is as moving as any of his novels.”